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Osama Mustafa Hassan, an imam better known as Abu Omar, was snatched from a Milan street on February 17, 2003, in an operation coordinated by the CIA and Italian military intelligence.
Abu Omar was transferred to a high-security prison outside Cairo, where he was held for four years. After his release in February 2007, he told of torture and humiliation during his incarceration such as being forced to defecate on the floor of his cell.
The trial is the first in Europe over the CIA's so-called "extraordinary rendition" programme under which it has secretly transferred terror suspects to third countries known to practise torture.
Abu Omar's seizure was thought to be among scores of secret abductions around the world since the attacks of September 11, 2001.